Doomchained

Can you imagine a scenario where all centralised forms of information have disappeared in a calamity, and when future historians recover the blockchain, the recorded remnants of life in the distributed ledger. A ‘Doomsday Blockchain’.

“It is easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism. We can now revise that and witness the attempt to imagine capitalism by way of imagining the end of the world”. Fredric Jameson (2013)

As a collective of four; designers, educators, technologists and theorists, we are seeking opportunities to develop and test metaphors for the blockchain that can resonate with the public. We applied to the Collusion Commisions for development and support to advance our shared interests and examine how the blockchain has already been utilised and abused, it’s currently not known how many hidden traces are there to be discovered.

Simon Poulter and Rachel Drury, Collusion’s Directors, say: “We invite artists to come forward with proposals that situate creativity at the heart of digital culture. We want to hear from diverse voices with new ideas.” News arrived today that our application was a success and work begins in 2018!

Doomchained addresses the theme of ‘data culture’ by exploring and visualising the Bitcoin blockchain as a tangible artefact,  a universal blockchain ‘tuner’ for exhibition and personal use. The current financial value of Bitcoin is currently 95 billion dollars with 14 million wallets in use. Yet, the aim of this project is to engage with the blockchain not as a financial tool but as a social and cultural artefact that is forming the first publically owned supercomputer. It’s patterns and affordances are shaping our political forms of organisation and conforming a lasting record of our daily lives.

As active individuals we each have long term investment in ‘free research’ over a wide range of interests as well as experience with UK and international commercial and academic environments. Together we look forward to an intensification of exchange and wider sharing of knowledge publicly.

Dr. Christian Nold is known for his large-scale participatory mapping projects that have been run in 16 countries and involved thousands of participants, with Bio Mapping and currency activism such as Bijlmer Euro. He is based at UCL and currently managing an EU funded project on participatory and DIY science.

Daniela Boraschi is an information designer and academic and has worked for a world-leading publisher designing science books for young audiences. She has collaborated with Nold as designer on the Stockport Map and Brentford Biopsy and is today researching the history of evidence in cancer screening and teaches Media Studies at the University of Essex.

Read the Doomsday Blockchain in full or review on going research reports Ice-Scraper and Shards of Sharing. Contact the collective by email ddbc@spc.org or keep your eyes to the skies!

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